A 302 redirect, also known as a "temporary redirect", is a type of HTTP status code that indicates that a requested resource has been temporarily moved to another location. This type of redirection is usually used when a website is being maintained or when the content of a particular page is temporarily unavailable.
When a browser sends a request for a specific URL, the web server checks the status code of that URL. If the status code is 302, the browser sends a request to the new address specified in the redirect. Unlike a 301 forwarding, which is a permanent forwarding and should be used when the original URL no longer exists, a 302 forwarding tells the browser that the original URL will be available again in the future.
One of the most important differences between a 301 and 302 redirect is that with a 301 redirect, the link equity or search engine ranking of the original URL is passed on to the new URL. With a 302 redirect, on the other hand, neither link equity nor search engine rankings are passed on, so it should only be used if the content will be available again in the future.
It should be noted, however, that 302 redirects can cause confusion for search engines, as they do not know whether the redirect is temporary or permanent. It is recommended to use a 307 redirect instead, which was introduced in HTTP/1.1 as a replacement for 302. This code is also temporary, but ensures that the method used for the original request is also used for redirecting the request.
Overall, 302 redirection is an important tool for website owners and developers as it allows them to temporarily redirect users elsewhere without losing link equity or search engine rankings. It is a useful tool for website maintenance, testing or when content is temporarily unavailable.